by Tiffany | July 7, 2020 11:41 am
There is a common thread with the females in the military and this is something that I have personal experience with as someone who has served. We are all called fresh meat once we get on the ship, we call have to deal with male military members who believe that they can cross our personal boundaries and get away with it (because they can) and that we can’t trust the male members we serve with who are suppose to be our brothers.
The Military is full of rape culture and violence against women because when it comes to it we can’t count on our brothers to care or protect us. I remember feeling safer walking around alone at midnight in Japan than I did with certain people on the ship. I remember asking certain people not to touch me but that getting ignored, I remember asking people not to harass me and getting ignored (until I threatened a grievance). These are not unique experiences in the military, or for women at all.
When you have higher-ups who will do anything to cover up sexual assault, murder, and etc to make themselves look good, where does that leave the people who serve? When you report what is happening to you as a female in the military you are seen as the problem, you are trying to rock the boat, your career gets derailed, and you get shunned. You become the problem because of what happened to you, and you are seen as the person who tried to destroy someone else’s career. This is how bad the culture is.
So, when I originally heard about Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance I knew that she wouldn’t be found alive with what I knew about the Military. While I and my twin discussed it we knew with the history of the military and the culture of the males in the military the probability she would be found alive was slim to none. I was hoping to be wrong. I am happy that her family is getting closure even if it’s not the answer they were looking for since know hopefully justice is on the table.
The sad truth is if this didn’t get the media coverage that it did and I say this about a lot of the issues in the military that they wouldn’t have tried to solve it. If the media or social media didn’t play a role than I don’t believe that they would have ever attempted to find her. Social media also brings out the clout chasers and wannabe influencers, so when people were still looking for her there was an individual who claimed to be a wife and wrote nasy and disgusting things about Vanessa, and her rape. Saying that by getting raped and only telling her mother she was trying to ruin someone else’s life. Screenshot1 Screenshot2
Look at fifteen years ago with the murder of LeVana Johnson, it was ruled a suicide by the military when the evidence said otherwise. When there were chemical burns that show a cover-up in what happened to her, and it has been suggested that she had been raped. This has not gotten the coverage that Vanessa’s case has but it seems to have started getting more traction lately. The family is still finding for the justice that they deserve in LeVana’s case, and they have been waiting too long.
A year after LeVanna another female military member Tina Priest had been found dead and the Army said it was also a suicide, two weeks after she said a male member rapped her. In the same as LeVana nothing was ever done, and no one punished the rapist. Another cover-up, but this one has had no media coverage, let’s change that. Her family has fought the Army for justice and has never got it. Not only do these women put their life on the line for the Military they have to worry which one of their brothers may possibly rape and kill them.
In 2007 Kamisha Block’s family was told that she was killed by a stray bullet friendly fire to the chest, then they got her family and they had gotten her body with five gunshot wounds, including one in the head. Another cover-up. They family found out that after she was shot by her boyfriend Paul Brandon Norris (who was senior to her) he killed himself. It’s been years and the family has been waiting for answers. However in 2019, the case was reopened.
Kamisha was in a relationship with Paul when he shot her because the relationship between them had become bad and she wanted out. Also, their relationship was outlawed by the UCMJ because Paul was married but separated at the time. Then according to Kamisha’s roommate at the time, there was no way this could have been confused as friendly fire as Paul went into the housing unit that the roommate and she shared ordered the roommate to leave when the roommate left she heard 5 shots and came back to see Paul shot himself.
However just last month the case was closed again with the military refusing to allow Kamisha’s family to get justice. This is another case of a cover-up. There was an ID episode done about this case on the show Forbidden: Dying for Love.
I’m going to be completely vague in this part because this case has not ever received any coverage at all, and I don’t know if the victim wants her name out there. This happened on the ship I was on, and with someone, I considered a friend at the time (I haven’t spoken to her in years and wouldn’t know how to get in touch. She went to a house party and didn’t drink but ended up blacking out because her non-alcohol drink was dosed with date rape. She woke up and knew what had happened to her so she reported it, and when she got the rape kit they found multiple male semen.
So, she was reassigned temporarily to shore duty, and the investigation started. The males who raped her (because even if they said otherwise there was no way she could consent with what they found in her system) admitted to raping her. We were underway at the time, the males were never charged with anything and the investigation was called off. She was forced to come back to the ship once it was in dock and see her rapists every day. This happened in 2008 I believe.
This has always killed me, and I know it hard her worst. Every woman who seen this on the ship and didn’t blame her for what happened because there was some who did, it changed how we have seen our brothers in the military and it hurt us because we knew it could have been one of us.
Have you heard about these cases? What are your thoughts about how the military treats these cases?
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